Leigh Leopards: Moylan and Lam among stars looking to better 2023 success

 | January 26 | 

5 mins read

Matt Moylan Leigh Leopards 2024

Leigh Leopards were arguably world rugby league’s Club of the Year in 2023. The newly-promoted outfit didn’t just avoid relegation from the Betfred Super League for the first time in four top-flight attempts, they also went on to win the Betfred Challenge Cup and made the end-of-season play-offs.

After their headline-grabbing rebrand, the former Centurions shut up a lot of doubters with their Wembley heroics against Hull Kingston Rovers. But their job in 2024 is to build on that success, and the addition of superstar utility back Matt Moylan has helped to add even greater fervour around the club.

Leigh Leopards 2024 odds

  • To retain Betfred Challenge Cup - 9/1
  • To finish in top six - 11/10
  • To finish in top six alongside Wigan and Hull KR - 7/2
  • Josh Charnley to finish as Super League top try scorer - 12/1

“I’m pretty excited by the opportunity in front of us,” Moylan tells Betfred. “I played footy with a few of the boys that are in the team, so speaking to Ricky [Leutele] about his experience here and how much he liked it played a big part in me making the decision to come over here.

“I know that the boys won the Challenge Cup last year, so hopefully I can come and add something to the squad and we can play in them bigger games. I obviously knew who the club were, but with the time difference and that I didn’t get to watch too many games last year. But I noticed the progress they had last year, which was really exicting for the club and hopefully there’s more moments like that in the future.”

Lachlam Lam’s match-winning drop-goal in golden-point extra-time was the moment which made history for the Leopards last season, but the scrum-half has signed a new two-year deal with the club and insists that there is no greater pressure on the team as a result of their achievements of the last 12 months.

“Last year we knew how good we were and what we were capable of doing, and nothing will really change for us this year,” the 25-year-old insists. “We don’t really take too much in from the outside, what happens between our four walls is what’s important to us.”

Leigh Leopards to win Betfred Challenge Cup at 9/1

And he believes that the vibe created by the backroom staff, led by his coach and father Adrian, owner Derek Beaumont and director of rugby Chris Chester, is a key in the Leopards’ momentum.

“It is very special, it’s probably what won us a lot of games last year. We were in a lot of tight games and games we needed to win, big games, and the amount of time we spent together off the field and what we did on the training paddock really comes together and shows in those games. That’s driven by the staff, from the coaching staff all the way to Chezzie and Derek.

“[The 2024 team] is a very new group, we’ve lost a few key players in our squad from last year. But it’s always exciting, that part. As long as the new guys coming in know their role and know what we’re trying to do as a team – which I think they were pretty aware of pretty early – that’s always good.”

Betfred are offering 9/1 on Leigh and Lam repeating their Wembley victory, meaning they are considered to have a 10% chance, but the Lance Todd Trophy winner says that were it not his dad Adrian doing the recruiting he would never have been at the club in the first place.

“I was very sceptical of coming over, just from what I’d heard of Leigh in the past. Obviously, the driving factor was that my dad was there, and to be completely honest if my dad wasn’t there I wouldn’t have ended up at Leigh.

“Along the way, the work we put in grew the confidence of what was going to happen, but I didn’t expect anything as special as what happened in the 2023 season.”

Josh Charnley 12/1 to be top Super League try scorer

Another Leigh player who has a big goal in 2024 is winger Josh Charnley, whose 230 tries in Super League place him third on the all-time list in the summer competition. He now sits just 17 tries behind Danny McGuire’s total of 247, with Hull KR’s Ryan Hall on 240 going into the final season of his Craven Park contract.

And Charnley has been getting regular reminders of the personal achievement in sight.

“I keep getting prompted by my little boy that I’m only 18 tries away from being the top try scorer of all time, so I think that’s one of my goals this year,” Charnley tells Betfred.

“I don’t know [how soon I can manage that], maybe a couple of games if Lachie gives me the ball! I’ve been lucky enough to play in some great teams where I’ve scored these tries, and if I can finish at the top then I’ll be over the moon with that.

“It’s my testimonial year this year and you’re asking people for things, and I don’t realise how much of an impact I’ve had on people’s lives over my playing career, lads I’ve played with and coaches. It’s good to see the testimonials they’ve written for me, and I’ll probably look back at the end of this year and reflect on it all.”

You can read all our latest Rugby League News and Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights rugby league content hub.

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